back to top

62 Books Guaranteed To Make You Sweat

As recommended by some of the best writers in the biz.

Posted on

BuzzFeed Books asked some of the many writers at the 32nd annual RT Booklovers Convention to name the book that sparked their love of romance. Here are the wide-ranging, sometimes surprising answers.

1. Walk Through Cold Fire by Cin Forshay-Lunsford

Recommended by: Dorothy F. Shaw (Unworthy Heart)

Genre: Young Adult

Description: "A sixteen-year-old girl with a miserable home life finds love and friendship for one heartbreaking summer with a gang of other teenagers with problems." (Goodreads)

Advertisement

2. The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Recommended by: Sandra Brown (Hidden Fires, French Silk) and Jaci Burton (Wild Riders series)

Genre: Historical

Description: "Doomed to a life of unending toil, Heather Simmons fears for her innocence—until a shocking, desperate act forces her to flee . . . and to seek refuge in the arms of a virile and dangerous stranger." (Goodreads)

3. Easy by Tammara Webber

Recommended by: K.A. Tucker (Ten Tiny Breaths series)

Genre: New Adult

Description: "He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior... The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he'd worked so hard to overcome, and the future she'd put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart. Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth - and find the unexpected power of love." (Amazon)

4. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

Recommended by: Chloe Neill (Some Girls Bite)

Genre: Suspense, Science Fiction, Crime

Description: "Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over ten years on the force, she's seen it all―and knows that her survival depends on her instincts. And she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire―and suspect in Eve's murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it's up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about―except the addictive hunger of needing his touch." (Amazon)

5. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Recommended by: Charlaine Harris (The Sookie Stackhouse series)

Genre: Classics, Suspense, Gothic

Description: "The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives--presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave." (Goodreads)

6. Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Recommended by: Jill Shalvis (Lucky Harbor series) and Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries)

Genre: Historical, Military (Civil War)

Description: "Alaina MacGaren is forced to flee the devastation of her homeland in the guise of a young boy, only to find sanctuary in the arms of an enemy. Cole Latimer is a dashing Yankee surgeon who has served the Union faithfully, and his tender heart compels him to help a ragged, innocent 'lad' in need— never suspecting the rags conceal a bewitching belle suspected of being a rebel spy." (Amazon)

Advertisement

Recommended by: Brighton Walsh (Captive) and Amy K. Rogers (Chasing Fire series)

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal (Vampires), Erotica

Description: "The only purebred vampire left on the planet and the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who killed his parents centuries ago. But when his most trusted fighter is killed—orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate—Wrath must put down his dagger and usher the beautiful female into another world." (Signet)

8. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Recommended by: Elizabeth Ludwig (Edge of Freedom series) and Ciara Knight (Sweetwater County series)

Genre: Historical, Inspirational

Description: "California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything. Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw." (Goodreads)

9. Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey

Recommended by: Emma Chase (Tangled series) and Chloe Neill (Some Girls Bite)

Genre: Historical (Regency), Adventure

Description: "Heartsick and desperate to leave her sorrows on England’s shores, innocent Georgina Anderson seeks passage on the 'gentleman’s ship,' Maiden Anne, disguised as a cabin boy. The captain, however, is no gentleman; he’s the ex-pirate and irrepressible rake, James Malory. The black sheep of a proud, tempestuous family, Malory soon sees through Georgina’s masquerade and is enchanted by the courageous, high-spirited lady he has forced into intimate servitude. But though he has sworn he will never be enticed into matrimony, Captain Malory has finally met his match on the high seas―undone by the passionate heart of one remarkable beauty whose love of freedom and adventure rivals his own." (Avon)

10. The works of Louré Bussey

Recommended by: Pat Simmons (Guilty series)

Genre: Contemporary

Description (Tropical Heat): "When Jada Gracen has her heart broken, she flies to St. Thomas for a job interview, hoping for a fresh start. There, she discovers something even better — Randall Larimore, her childhood friend and long-time crush, who just happens to own the cluster of luxury villas she's visiting." (Goodreads)

11. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Recommended by: Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries)

Genre: Classics, Historical, Gothic

Description: "Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed." (Goodreads)

Advertisement

12. & 13. Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore and Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Recommended by: Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries)

Lorna Doone Genre: Classics, Adventure

Description: "Lorna Doone is the story of John Ridd, a farmer who finds love amid the religious and social turmoil of seventeenth-century England. He is just a boy when his father is slain by the Doones, a lawless clan inhabiting wild Exmoor on the border of Somerset and Devon. Seized by curiosity and a sense of adventure, he makes his way to the valley of the Doones, where he is discovered by the beautiful Lorna. In time their childish fantasies blossom into mature love—a bond that will inspire John to rescue his beloved from the ravages of a stormy winter, rekindling a conflict with his archrival, Carver Doone, that climaxes in heartrending violence." (Goodreads)

Bridget Jones's Diary Genre: Humor

Description: "Bridget Jones's Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget's permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR." (Goodreads)

14. The Beloved Scoundrel by Iris Johansen

Recommended by: Mari Carr (Second Chances series)

Genre: Historical, Suspense

Description: "In this absorbing Napoleonic-era romance, Eastern European stained-glass artisan Marianna Sanders becomes privy to a politically charged secret sought after by the leaders of two warring countries. One of them, Jordan, Duke of Cambaron, takes her to his home in England and tries to get the information gently; inevitably, they fall in love. His nemesis, the Duke of Nebrov, murders Marianna's mother and kidnaps her much-loved younger brother in hopes of extorting the information, but Marianna has plans of her own." (Library Journal)

15. Escape From Desire by Penny Jordan

Recommended by: Heather Long (Always a Marine series)

Genre: Contemporary

Description: "A holiday romance with a difference, might describe Tamara's involvement with Zachary Fletcher. They might have met on a romantic island in the Caribbean, but there was nothing romantic about the frightening experience of being kidnapped by terrorists and kept prisoner by them. Thanks to Zachary, they managed to escape — and as a result, not surprisingly perhaps, Tamara realized she had fallen in love with him. But, as so often happens with more normal holiday romances, when it was all over Zachary just didn't want to know about her any more..." (Goodreads)

16. Beauty series by Georgia Cates

Recommended by: Heather Long

Genre: New Adult, Erotica

Synopsis: Cocky Australian wine mogul Jack McLachlan is content to treat girlfriends like they’re clients until he meets Laurelyn Prescott, who might even be better at the game than he is.

17. Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught

Recommended by: Jen Frederick (Undeclared) and Erin Knightley (All's Fair in Love series)

Genre: Historical

Description: "Whitney Stone's teenage crush on a neighbor has her cold, unfeeling father banishing her to Paris into the care of her aunt and uncle. Under their loving guidance, the young woman blossoms into a ravishing beauty and becomes the darling of glittering Parisian society — a fact not lost on the handsome and equally powerful Duke of Claymore, who determines to make her his wife. Despite the duke's fervent interest, Whitney remains fixed on her childhood love. That is, until she finds herself tempted by the Duke — an attraction that both delights and baffles Whitney, causing her to be increasingly wary of what her heart may lead her to do." (Amazon)

Advertisement

18. Tempting the Beast by Lora Leigh

Recommended by: R.G. Alexander (Fireborne series)

Genre: Paranormal (Shape-Shifting), Science Fiction, Erotica

Description: "Callan Lyons is a genetic experiment. One of six fighting for freedom and the survival of their Pride. Merinus Tyler is the reporter who will tempt him, draw him, until the fury of the 'mating frenzy' locks them into a battle of sexual heat there is no escape from. Deception, blood, and the evil Genetics Council are hot on their trail. Callan will use his strength to try and save them both...and do all in his power to keep his woman in the process." (Amazon)

19. The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel

Recommended by: Jessica Clare (Billionaire Boys Club series)

Genre: Historical (Regency)

Description: "Cruelly cast out by the ancient Clan that adopted her as a child, Ayla now travels alone in a land of glacial cold and terrifying beasts. She is searching for the Others, a race as tall, blond, and blue-eyed as she. But Ayla finds only a hidden valley, where a herd of hardy steppe horses roams. Here, she is granted a unique kinship with animals, enabling her to learn the secrets of fire and raw survival — but still, her need for human companionship and love remains unfulfilled. Then fate brings her a stranger, handsome Jondolar, and Ayla is torn between fear and hope — and carried to an awakening of desire that would shape the future of mankind." (Bantam)

20. Eternal Hunter by Cynthia Eden

Recommended by: Sidney Bristol (Committed)

Genre: Paranormal (Shape-Shifters, Vampire), Urban Fantasy, Erotica

Description: "A shape-shifter who can't shift and a psychic who dreams about death live in the body of Erin Jerome, who's trying to maintain a normal life as a Louisiana assistant DA while avoiding the secret world of shifters, demons, vampires, witches and djinn. When a shape-shifting psychotic starts stalking Erin, sending her gifts of dead bodies in the crazed hope of luring her to his side, bounty-hunting shifter Jude Donovan vows to keep her safe. Erin wonders whether, like her shifter mother, she carries the seeds of madness and fears that when Jude learns the truth about her he'll turn from her in disgust." (Publishers Weekly)

21. The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart

Recommended by: Patricia Briggs (Alpha and Omega series)

Genre: Historical, Suspense, Gothic

Description: "Mary Grey had come from Canada to the land of her forebears: Northumberland. As she savored the ordered, spare beauty of England’s northern fells, the silence was shattered by the shout of a single name: 'Annabel!' And there stood one of the angriest, most threatening young men Mary had ever seen. His name was Connor Winslow, and Mary quickly discovered that he thought she was his cousin—a girl supposedly dead these past eight years. Alive, she would be heiress to an inheritance Connor was determined to have for himself." (Amazon)

23. Emma by Jane Austen

Recommended by: Keri Arthur (Full Moon Rising)

Genre: Classics, 19th Century British

Description: "Beautiful, clever, rich — and single — Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected." (Goodreads)

Advertisement

24. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Recommended by: Rebekah Weatherspoon (The Fit trilogy) and Helena Hunting (Pucked)

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Synopsis: "Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. When she meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen — a vampire — her life takes a thrilling and terrifying romantic turn." (Hachette)

25. The Bride by Julie Garwood

Recommended by: Helen Kay Dimon (Taken) and Julie Kenner (Stark series)

Genre: Historical, Medieval

Description: "By edict of the king, the mighty Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must take an English bride. His choice was Jamie, youngest daughter of Baron Jamison...a feisty, violet-eyed beauty. Alec ached to touch her, to tame her, to possess her...forever. But Jamie vowed never to surrender to this highland barbarian. He was everything her heart warned against—an arrogant scoundrel whose rough good looks spoke of savage pleasures. And though Kincaid's scorching kisses fired her blood, she brazenly resisted him...until one rapturous moment quelled their clash of wills, and something far more dangerous than desire threatened to conquer her senses..." (Amazon)

26. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Recommended by: Jenn Bennett (Roaring Twenties series)

Genre: Historical (Regency)

Description: "Tough minded Jessica Trent's sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And When Dain's reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction..." (Avon)

27. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Recommended by: Julie James (Suddenly One Summer) and Abbi Glines (Fallen Too Far)

Genre: Classics

Description: "Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners — one of the most popular novels of all time — features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues." (Goodreads)

28. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Recommended by: Anna Zabo (Takeover)

Genre: Humor

Description: "Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. Even if she does wear great shoes and keeps him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again. But Fate has other plans, and it's not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon, they're dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme donuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all—true love." (St. Martin's)

29. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Recommended by: Sona Charaipotra (Tiny Pretty Things)

Genre: Young Adult

Description: "Adrift after her sister Bailey's sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby—Bailey's boyfriend who shares her grief—and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs... though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode." (Amazon)

30. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

Recommended by: Roni Loren (Nice Girls Don't Ride)

Genre: Young Adult, Gothic, Horror

Description: "They were a perfect family, golden and carefree—until a heartbreaking tragedy shattered their happiness. Now, for the sake of an inheritance that will ensure their future, the children must be hidden away out of sight, as if they never existed. Kept on the top floor of their grandmother’s vast mansion, their loving mother assures them it will be just for a little while. But as brutal days swell into agonizing months and years, Cathy, Chris, and twins Cory and Carrie realize their survival is at the mercy of their cruel and superstitious grandmother…and this cramped and helpless world may be the only one they ever know." (Amazon)

31. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Recommended by: AJ Pine (One Night)

Genre: Young Adult, Humor

Description: "Anna can't wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?" (Amazon)

32. Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Recommended by: LuAnn McLane (Walking on Sunshine)

Genre: Humor

Description: "Genius physics professor Dr. Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby. But finding a father won’t be easy. Jane’s super-intelligence made her feel like a freak when she was growing up, and she’s determined to spare her own child that suffering. Which means she must find someone very special to father her child. Someone who’s more comfortable working out his muscles than exercising his brain. Cal Bonner, the Chicago Stars’ legendary quarterback, seems like the perfect choice. But his champion good looks and down-home ways are deceiving. Dr. Jane is about to learn a little too late that this good ol’ boy is a lot smarter than he lets on—and he’s not about to be used and abandoned by a brainy, baby-mad schemer." (Goodreads)

33. Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas

Recommended by: Sonali Dev (A Bollywood Affair)

Genre: Historical (Regency)

Description: "Lady Aline Marsden was brought up to marry a man of her own class, but from the moment she meets John McKenna, she risks everything to be with him. Although their love is forbidden, McKenna's passion for the beautiful Aline is too compelling to deny. When their secret is discovered, their world is shattered. McKenna is forced to leave forever, unaware that the only reason Aline has given him up is to save him. Now McKenna has returned, a powerful man determined to take revenge against the woman who broke his heart. But the magic between them burns as fiercely as ever…and as McKenna uncovers Aline's deepest secret, together they discover a love that will defy Fate itself." (Amazon)

34. Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Recommended by: SD Hendrickson (The Mason List)

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Description: "Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope.Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope. Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart." (Goodreads)

35. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

Recommended by: Christina Hobbs of Christina Lauren (Sweet Filthy Boy)

Genre: Historical

Description: "Powered by the dreams and struggles of three generations, The Thorn Birds is the epic saga of a family rooted in the Australian sheep country. At the story's heart is the love of Meggie Cleary, who can never possess the man she desperately adores, and Ralph de Bricassart, who rises from parish priest to the inner circles of the Vatican...but whose passion for Meggie will follow him all the days of his life." (Goodreads)

36. Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Recommended by: Shayla Black (His to Take)

Genre: Historical (Regency)

Description: "Behind the foreboding walls of Newgate Prison, a pact is sealed in secret — as a dashing and doomed criminal consents to wed a beautiful heiress... in return for one night of unparalleled pleasure. In the fading echoes of hollow wedding vows, a promise is broken — as a sensuous free-spirit flees to a lush Caribbean paradise, abandoning the handsome stranger she married to the gallows. But Ruark Beauchamp's destiny is now eternally intertwined with his exquisite, tempestuous Shanna's. And no iron ever forged can imprison his magnificent passion... and no hangman's noose will deny him the ecstasy that is rightfully his." (Goodreads)

37. & 38. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, and The Windflower by Laura London

Recommended by: Damon Suede (Hot Head)

The Master and Margarita Genre: Classics, Magical Realism, Russian

Description: "Combining two distinct yet interwoven parts—one set in ancient Jerusalem, one in contemporary Moscow—the novel veers from moods of wild theatricality with violent storms, vampire attacks, and a Satanic ball; to such somber scenes as the meeting of Pilate and Yeshua, and the murder of Judas in the moonlit garden of Gethsemane; to the substanceless, circus-like reality of Moscow. Its central characters, Woland (Satan) and his retinue—including the vodka-drinking black cat, Behemoth; the poet, Ivan Homeless; Pontius Pilate; and a writer known only as The Master, and his passionate companion, Margarita—exist in a world that blends fantasy and chilling realism, an artful collage of grotesqueries, dark comedy, and timeless ethical questions." (Goodreads)

The Windflower Genre: Historical (Regency), Pirates

Synopsis: "Merry Wilding is a lady of breeding, of innocence, and of breathtaking beauty. With high hopes for a holiday in England, she sets sail from New York — but the tide of her life is destined to turn. Mistakenly swept aboard an infamous pirate ship, Merry finds herself at the mercy of a wicked crew... and one sinfully handsome pirate. Soon she's spending her days yearning for escape, and her nights learning the pleasures of captivity." (Amazon)

39. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Recommended by: Anna Todd (After trilogy)

Genre: Erotica, BDSM

Description: "When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms. Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires." (Goodreads)

40. A Rose in Winter by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Recommended by: Kresley Cole (The Master)

Genre: Historical (Regency), Fairy Tale (Beauty and the Beast)

Description: "Erienne's father had given her hand to the richest suitor. She was now Lady Saxton, mistress of a great manor all but ruined by fire, wife to a man whose mysteriously shrouded form aroused fear and pity. Yet even as she fell in love with her adoring husband, Erienne despaired of freeing her heart from the dashingly handsome Yankee who couldn't forget her. The beautiful Erienne, once filled with young dreams of romance, was now a wife and woman ... torn between the two men she loved." (Goodreads)

41. Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts

Recommended by: Aleatha Romig (Consequences)

Genre: Dark Romance, Erotica

Description: "Caleb is a man with a singular interest in revenge. Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery by a power-hungry mobster, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. For twelve years he has immersed himself in the world of pleasure slaves searching for the one man he holds ultimately responsible. Finally, the architect of his suffering has emerged with a new identity, but not a new nature. If Caleb is to get close enough to strike, he must become the very thing he abhors and kidnap a beautiful girl to train her to be all that he once was. Eighteen-year-old Olivia Ruiz has just woken up in a strange place. Blindfolded and bound, there is only a calm male voice to welcome her. His name is Caleb, though he demands to be called Master. Olivia is young, beautiful, naïve and willful to a fault. She has a dark sensuality that cannot be hidden or denied, though she tries to accomplish both. Although she is frightened by the strong, sadistic, and arrogant man who holds her prisoner, what keeps Olivia awake in the dark is her unwelcome attraction to him." (Amazon)

42. Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Recommended by: Lauren Billings (of Christina Lauren, Sweet Filthy Boy)

Genre: Historical, Science Fiction

Description: "A natural disaster leaves a young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly — she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge." (Amazon)

43. Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas

Recommended by: Skye Warren (Wanderlust)

Genre: Dark Romance, BDSM, Erotica

Description: "Emily Vargas has been taken captive. As part of his conditioning methods, her captor refuses to speak to her, knowing how much she craves human contact. He's far too beautiful to be a monster. Combined with his lack of violence toward her, this has her walking a fine line at the edge of sanity. Told in the first person from Emily's perspective, Comfort Food is a tale of erotic surrender that explores what happens when all expectations of pleasure and pain are turned upside down, as whips become comfort and chicken soup becomes punishment." (Amazon)

44. Crossfire series by Sylvia Day

Recommended by: Ann Marie Walker (Chasing Fire series)

Genre: Erotica, BDSM

Bared to You Description: "He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily. Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds and desires. The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart." (Berkley Trade)

45. Driftwood by Harper Fox

Recommended by: Christopher Rice (Desire Exchange series)

Genre: Erotica, Military, Queer

Description: "After a hellish tour of duty in Afghanistan, Dr Tom Penrose wants his old life back. But if Cornwall is the same, Tom isn’t – his control is fragile, and the last thing he needs is the explosive arrival in his life of Flynn Summers. Flynn is trouble from the start. He used to pilot rescue helicopters, until a devastating crash killed his crew. He’s trying to pay for his sins – and is living in sexual thraldom to his former copilot, Robert. As they become lovers against all the odds, Tom must save Flynn's life as well as his own." (Amazon)

46. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Recommended by: Francine Rivers (Redeeming Love)

Genre: Classics, Historical Fiction

Description: "Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity; the inexplicability of love; and the murderous consequences of love’s absence." (Goodreads)

47. Key trilogy by Nora Roberts

Recommended by: Eden Bradley (The Dark Garden)

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy

Description: "Three women. Three keys to find. If one fails, they all lose. If they succeed - money, power and a new destiny awaits. It will take more than intellect, more than determination. They will have to open their hearts, their minds, and believe that everything is possible." (Goodreads)

48. Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart

Recommended by: Marta Perry (Keepers of the Promise series)

Genre: Suspense

Description: "A governess in a French château encounters an apparent plot against her young charge's life in this unforgettably haunting and beautifully written suspense novel. When lovely Linda Martin first arrives at Château Valmy as an English governess to the nine-year-old Count Philippe de Valmy, the opulence and history surrounding her seems like a wondrous, ecstatic dream. But a palpable terror is crouching in the shadows. Philippe's uncle, Leon de Valmy, is the epitome of charm, yet dynamic and arrogant — his paralysis little hindrance as he moves noiselessly in his wheelchair from room to room. Only his son Raoul, a handsome, sardonic man who drives himself and his car with equally reckless abandon, seems able to stand up to him. To Linda, Raoul is an enigma — though irresistibly attracted to him, she senses some dark twist in his nature. When an accident deep in the woods nearly kills Linda's innocent charge, she begins to wonder if someone has deadly plans for the young count." (Powell's)

49. The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith

Recommended by: Jennifer L. Armentrout, aka J. Lynn (Trust in Me)

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

Description: "What was supposed to be an evening of celebration with friends, fun, and games becomes a night of danger, drama, and obsessive love. Because when Jenny, her boyfriend, Tom, and their friends begin to play the Game, it comes to life. Suddenly they are in a dark world where Julian, the gorgeous guy who sold Jenny the Game, rules as Prince of the Shadows. Julian makes their darkest nightmares realities—and he will do anything to claim the beautiful Jenny as his prize. The Game is real, and the only way to win is to face your most secret fears. You cannot quit—to lose the Game is to lose your life. And that is just the beginning…." (Amazon)

50. Frederica by Georgette Hayer

Recommended by: Mary Balogh (The Survivors' Club septet)

Genre: Historical (Regency)

Description: "Frederica Merriville and her three siblings have come to London for the glittering social season, in order to give young and beautiful Charis a chance to make a good marriage. Frederica herself, a witty charmer, believes herself happily beyond marriageable age -- she is twenty-four, after all. But when they are introduced to London society by their distant 'cousin' Lord Alverstoke, Frederica is amazed to finds herself, unknowingly, falling in love. Likewise, Alverstoke, a cold aristocrat, finds himself thoroughly beguiled by Frederica and her young rascally brothers." (Goodreads)

51. Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole

Recommended by: Erica Hayes, aka Viola Carr (The Diabolical Miss Hyde)

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Erotica, Vampires

Description: "Every creature or being that was thought to be mythical isn't. They all secretly exist alongside humans and enjoy the gift of immortality. There are hundreds of different kinds: from Vampires to Lykae, from Furies to Shifters, from the Fey to Valkyries. These immortals call their world the lord. You may have had a brush with one of Lorekind already. The eccentric billionaire with hypnotic charisma—and an aversion to sunlight. The ethereal waif of impossible beauty—whose fingernails look more like claws. The Highlander with a seventeenth-century Scottish accent and animal magnetism—who can never be penciled in on the night of the full moon. They walk among us, but they war among themselves." (Kresley Cole)

52. Lace by Shirley Conran

Recommended by: Anne Tenino (Poster Boy)

Genre: Contemporary

Description: "Four women, Judy, Kate, Pagan and Maxine, are summoned to a New York apartment where they are asked which one of them is the mother of the host. As they unlock the past, the women remember the things that tie them together." (Goodreads)

53. Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist

Recommended by: Heather Manning (Swept to Sea)

Genre: Historical, Inspirational, Western

Description: "Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man's world, which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder. Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears though. He's a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do. But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is on the line." (Amazon)